The JR Inman Situation
I have received numerous emails concerning JR Inman. Let me start by saying I remain a loyal supporter of JR Inman and will always be. In fact I am proud of him for sticking it out at Rutgers even though it was told to him Fred Hill was not going to treat him fair. In fact I and many others in the NY/NJ basketball community wanted him to leave after his Jr. year. Even if he had to go to an NAIA Power School. We all saw the writing on the wall for him at RU. But FHJ convinced him that he would be a huge part of the team and have a great season. When JR got hurt in the beginning of his Sr. season, we again told him to request a medical red shirt because he was seriously injured. He was told that he was needed. So he played hurt the first part of his SR. year because most likely FHJ wanted FIG to complete their eligibility.
To JRs credit he saw more than basketball. He said numerous times that he wanted a degree from Rutgers. He also said he was determined to help Rutgers win. That's what he, Anthony, and Griffin came to RU for. He saw the benefits of a RU education even though many others did not.
When JR first signed to play at RU there were many who felt he would never develop at Rutgers. It seems that many who are on the RU message boards do not remember how good he was in HS and AAU. He outplayed many great players including Gerald Henderson and Wayne Ellington during his HS career. He was also recruited at the highest level by high D1 schools. But he and his fellow FIG members wanted to attend RU together. And during that first year he did very well and even made Freshmen All American. So that NBA mention regarding being a 2nd rounder was not that far off prior to his years under the current head coach because he was indeed on the NBA radar. This all changed when FHJ came aboard. JR never was the same after he became Head Coach. And again I was never anti FHJ, I was anti the way he treated JR Inman. In fact I hate when coaches frown at players during games and Gary Waters does this often, Thus I always was more of a FHJ guy than Gary Waters. But for JR I cannot think of a better person or coach for him than Gary Waters. I wonder if folks know Gary called all his players before their last college game? I would bet that it was Gary who got in touch with JR and told him to clean up what he wrote etc. I have to say Gary Waters and his Wife were Class with a capital C.
Now on to the JR facebook situation. Seems to me that JR has a right to be upset. He went through more than anyone can imagine as a student athlete at RU. He watched as his dreams of playing after college were all but shattered. He heard folks saying horrible things about people he cared about at RU and away from RU. He heard rumors about what the coaches were saying about him, and was feeling the wrath despite always talking positive about what was happening to him. Yes JR went through alot! Some of the things he was punished for he deserved, other stuff he did not deserve. I will always say right is right and wrong is wrong.
The one incident that will always stand out to me is how JR was put on the bench and criticized and made an example of despite him being the leading scorer and rebounder on the team. I personally feel he never recovered from that experience and was never the player at RU he could have been. And at least 3 NBA guys I know felt at the time he was on track to be a future draft choice or at the least a training camp signee with a chance to make a roster. Again remember this was prior to his Sr. season. And also understand many high D1 coaches were stunned that was was handled the way he was basketball wise. This is the reason Bobby Gonzalez talked to him at the end of a RU/SHU game. He and many others felt bad for him.
Now here is where i change up. FHJ is now at a road that has 4 red lights making it hard for him to proceed. He has transfer rumors, a recent transfer, win less in BE play, a shrinking fan base, and other issues confronting him. I think JR owes him nothing, but I hate to see folks kicked when they are down. So no I do not feel it is correct to say all he did on facebook. Why not meet with FHJ and tell him face to face and man to man. That is if FHJ would meet with him. And no it is not good to kick someone when they are down. That is way too easy and does not come off right. And no he should not have put stuff in like punching or hitting. But I understand!!!! This must have been in him for years. Hopefully JR can move on now and be the productive adult we expect him to be. But again, I am and will always be in JRs corner just as he and his family has always been in mine.
In closing I have to say when it comes to kids such as JR, nice kids with dreams. A mind is a terrible thing to waste, and so is great talent. And often it takes multiple people to make you waste your mind and talent! Hopefully everyone learns from this situation.